The mask keeps everything looking nice and cloning replaces unnatural colors with those from the actual fur of the cat in other places. I set the Dodge Tool to target the highlights and the Burn Tool to target the shadows, grab a medium size soft brush and make my way around the edges of the image, burning shadows and dodging highlights until I like the level of detail that I’m seeing. Experiment with different blend modes and adjust the opacity of your images to find the right effect. All of the work is done with the Brush Tool, so go to the Toolbar and choose the Brush tool. Select Open... and then open a project from your... 2. A Luminosity Mask lets you alter color and contrast, do digital blending, dodging & burning selectively, as well as make an accurate hard line selection. With the selection active, switch to the Channels palette. Masking is one of the most powerful, yet misunderstood features in Photoshop. Click on the "Add Layer Mask" icon. Let’s say though that we want to only have fire near the door of the shack. It’s simply a bad choice when you’re not sure that you want the changes to be permanent. If the bottom layer has some areas that are opaque and some areas that are transparent, a clipping mask will apply these values to the top layer. This Photoshop action will highlight and intensify green objects like trees, bushes, grass or mountains. Find the picture you want to work with and click on “Place”. This one is hard to explain without an example, but becomes crystal clear when you see it in action. © Copyright 2021 Fixthephoto.com | All Rights Reserved. Utilizing these tools properly takes practice. I won’t cover them closely now because it would take so much time but I encourage you to dig in and play with all of the controls to get a feel for what they do. Be careful to no go too far with this adjustment. As we do this, the fire begins to disappear. The goal is to get as much of the cat as closest to black as you can. Press X to switch the foreground and background colors in the Toolbar, so white becomes the foreground color. Command/Ctrl - allows making a selection based on the mask edges. Lion. The Magic Wand or even the Pen Tool are of no use to us here. This same concept gave birth to masks many years ago. Open File. Hit the layer mask button. The general idea here is to take some, not all, of the fire and apply it to the shack. At the top of the screen, you can see a menu bar. Select New... to create a new document. Load the original image to Photoshop. See our privacy policy. In this Quick Tip, Julieanne reveals a simple technique to paste content directly into a layer mask in Photoshop. To change the size, press Ctrl + T. After that, select and hold down the Command + Shift key and drag the edges of the image in or out to achieve correct proportions. Do not worry, this action doesn’t make the skin tone green, it retains the natural texture. Several years ago a friend of mine asked me to teach him how masks work in Photoshop. At this point you encounter one of the trickiest steps of the entire process. I would posit that until you thoroughly understand how and why to use masks, you simply don’t understand the power of Photoshop. Odds are, if you’ve been using Photoshop for a while, not a single piece of this was news to you. With that one change, this is already a pretty decent image! With a mask, you not only have the ability to make remarkably detailed decisions about the transparency of a layer or group of layers, even better, you have the freedom to go back and refine or scrap those changes at any time. How To Use Select & Mask To Cut Out Objects. I would posit that until you thoroughly understand how and why to use masks, you simply don’t understand the power of Photoshop.The term “mask” isn’t immediately understandable to someone outside the realm of graphic design. Select any of the editing or painting tools. By using a soft brush, you will create gray shadows, partly masking this area of the mask layer. Black color on the layer mask conceals the mask layer. Command/Ctrl + Alt/Option - allows subtracting out of a selection based on the mask edges. How To Create A Clipping Mask In Photoshop Clipping masks use the content and transparency of the layer below to control the visibility of the layer above. A layer mask is similar to a second sheet of acetate that hovers over a layer. Command/Ctrl + Shift + Alt/Option - allows making an intersection with the original selection and the one you’ve just created based on the mask edges. From here, the last trick I use is to look for problematic areas and actually run the clone brush over the fringes. In order to customize keyboard shortcuts and add a layer mask, just choose Edit and then Keyboard Shortcuts. Think about what happens when you use the eraser tool: it erases pixels. Also, you can apply layer effects to the compilation via the bottom layer. The term “mask” isn’t immediately understandable to someone outside the realm of graphic design. Instead of using black and white values though, clipping masks simply borrow transparency from the layers used to make them, namely the bottom layer. About / Membership / Advertising & Sponsorship / Privacy, A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Masking in Photoshop, 2 Million+ Digital Assets, With Unlimited Downloads, 3 Web Design Rules You Should Actually Try to Break. At the bottom of the Layers panel, you will see Add layer mask button – click... 3. White means 100% opacity and black means 0% opacity. The changes that you make by deleting portions of a layer are permanent and can’t exactly be tweaked later. Choose Hue/Saturation in the pop-up menu. You can also use shortcut Command + E. Save the final result in PNG format in order not to lose the transparency. The first thing we need is two layers. The information above is an absolute beginner’s guide to masks. I created the picture at the top of this article with Layer Masks in Photoshop in just a few minutes. This type of mask uses the content and transparency of the bottom layer in order to control the visibility of the layer above. You’ll want to zoom in and watch the hair detail on the fringes of the fur to make sure you’re not clipping too much. Let’s use the two layers shown below and say that our goal here is to cut or “clip” the wood layer to be in the shape of the letters. That means we have to rely on Select and Mask to cut out images. Compare the back and head of the cat in the image below to that above to see the improvement. Here we have a fairly dark cat on a bright white background, which means all we have to do is figure out how to leverage our good fortune and convert the contrast already present into a suitable mask. You can use layer masks with image layers and adjustment layers. Masking works in two ways. (approx. Join our 30,000+ members to receive our newsletter and submit your design work. This is my incredibly late response. Make photos vibrant and add that warm atmosphere. Photoshop converts transparency into an opaque color, hidden by the new… Select the layer you wish to turn into the mask. Paint over hidden areas of the image. This is literally all the layer mask does. As you can see in the image below, it went a long way toward reducing our halo. A Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, with a white layer mask thumbnail, appears in … This sun ray overlay creates a slight bokeh effect. Command/Ctrl + Shift - allows adding to a selection based on the mask edges. 1. It’s easy enough to paint some broad strokes to erase large portions of an image, but what if you want to do something more complex? If we apply this mask to a layer, this is the result: Clipping masks are very similar to layer masks only they use one layer to determine the transparency of another. For starters, we can use the fantastic new Masks Palette in conjunction with Refine Edge to make some live adjustments to our mask. The first step in a project like this is to jump over to the Channels Palette and look for the channel with the most contrast. Upon first learning how to use masks, most rookies think the same thing: “I can already do all of this with the eraser tool.” Wrong! Combine several photos into a simple photo composition, remove background, object or a person easy and fast. The other way is by using adjustment layers, which always comes with a mask. Go with the mask instead. For an image layer, the layer mask allows […] In this scenario, the eraser tool is plastic surgery. Next, proceed to the Options bar. The action gives the photos good saturation without distorting them while making the image look even more stylish. Note that this command is actually destructive so you should always duplicate your layer before using it. The color that you paint tells Photoshop how opaque to make the pixels at that point. Masking can be difficult to understand for beginners to Photoshop. Select the top image layer in the Layers... Click the Add layer mask button in the Layers panel. You can still position and make changes to each of the two layers independently. Practice makes perfect, just be bold and never become intimidated by a masking job that seems too complex. It works best with cityscape photography. This is easy for the face potions and other random spots near the center, just grab a black brush and fill them in. Learn how to mask in Photoshop and use masking for photo editing with layers. A layer mask is one of the most helpful and powerful creative tools at your disposal in Photoshop Elements 11. Click the Create new fill or adjustment layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel. If you want to reveal a layer that features the mask, just change the foreground color to white. This Photoshop action gives your photos a dramatic effect. By pressing X, you will switch the current colors. By pressing the X key on your keyboard, you will switch the foreground and background colors and change the foreground color to white. I was able to come up with a great looking silhouette in only a minute or two. After painting out some of our fire, this brings up the following: Notice that we’re not just constrained to hard edges. A clipping mask hides a part of the layer. At the bottom of the Layers panel, you will see Add layer mask button – click on it. This time you should switch between black and white while painting on a layer mask. This is simply a horrible way to work. With complicated masks like these there is always room for improvement but you’ll find that the point of diminishing returns on your time spent becomes easier and easier to spot as your skill level improves. This image shows a layer with no mask applied. Now, with Smart Filters, you can always go back and adjust or even delete the blur. Make your image editing in Photoshop much easier with the following Photoshop filters, that can be applied to all kinds of photos in a matter of seconds. It started with the picture below of a high school senior wearing a blue shirt. To sum up, there are two primary types of masks in Photoshop: layer masks and clipping masks. How to Create a Layer Mask? The beauty of masks is that you can do anything you want with them as long as you can pull it off in values of gray. Also be sure to share any unique masking techniques or tricks you might have! And the process is as simple as adding the mask to the layer. Normally, Photoshop doesn't allow us to paste images directly into layer masks, but we can if we select the mask by holding down Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) and then clicking on the layer mask's thumbnail in the Layers palette to select it: Hold down "Alt" (Win) / "Option" … Find File and click on it.Now you should choose one of these actions: Select Open... and then open a project from your computer by double-clicking. How to round edges in Photoshop using Vector Mask. Learn how to fit image in circle, square, triangle or any simple or complex shape in Photoshop. Remember that, in masking, white is opaque and black is transparent. Now that we have a channel that accurately represents what we want from a mask, how do we convert it? Select the duplicate layer and click the icon at the bottom of the layers palette to add a layer mask. Furry animals make particularly difficult masking subjects. Shift + Alt/Option – allows entering or exiting Quick Mask Mode. These two tools are closely related in concept, but very different in application. When you add a mask to a layer, it covers the entire thing with an invisible grayscale canvas. At its simplest definition a mask is Alt/Option - allows you to enter or exit Mask view. It doesn’t have to be perfectly black and white at this point, some dark grays are acceptable. When used right, masks can be used to create very effective visual effects. Step 2 Once you click on New or make use of Ctrl + N, a dialogue box pops up requring you to fill in the necessary dimensions and specifications you want. In order to add black to the layer mask, just paint over the image in the document window. Then, load the file with the mask we received on Step 2 to Photoshop. Getting rid of this can literally take hours of tedious work if you don’t know what you’re doing. Then you need to select Application Menus option in “Shortcuts For”. From here it becomes a factor of how much time you want to spend refining your result. But layer masks are easy to use. Choose Layer > Layer Mask > From Transparency. However, because I used a mask, all I have to do is fill that mask with white and immediately all of my fire detail returns. With every new iteration of Photoshop, Adobe gives us more and more ways to make non-destructive edits, meaning those that don’t truly alter the original pixel data. Let's create a clipping mask using our two layers and see what happens. You can either do it manually, or press the D key. For instance, Filters used to be a permanent and destructive change, if you blurred a layer, it was stuck that way! Run "Photoshop." Layer Mask is used to change a specific area in the picture. Now that we have a strong grasp of exactly what masks are and how the two different types of masks differ, let’s see how to create and work with a layer mask. Flatten the image and save the mask in the folder where your photo is stored. To achieve the effect that we want, simply swap the position of the layers so that the wood is on the top, then go to the Layers menu at the top of your screen and select “Create Clipping Mask” (Command-Option-G). As you can see, despite a super detailed mask, we still have some white fringing occurring around the edges. Then this bokeh overlay is just what you are looking for. Select the mask (Select->All, Ctrl+A on Windows, Command+A on Mac). You resort to Luminosity Masks in Photoshop (selective adjustments) when you need to change only a particular area of the photo. The icon is of a square with a circle in the middle. A layer mask is something that you apply to a given layer to control the transparency of that layer. To use the metaphor of an actual mask, imagine that you want to change your appearance for Halloween. Go to the top layer, right click on it, choose “Create Clipping Mask.”. Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a professional blogger, … Mask & Replace Photo Background Tutorial : CLICK HERE TO WATCH TUTORIAL 1 00:00:13 How to Change Background With a Lot of Hair in photoshop. In fact, you may be thinking that masks are so incredibly simple that they barely merit conversation. Layer Masks can do so much more than replacing the sky. This way you will set black as the foreground color. Step 3 Darken the shadows and the midtones so that there is a crazy amount of contrast like in the image below. Use layer masks to block out the areas in the image you want to be transparent. Open your base image in Photoshop, and add your secondary images to another layer in the same project. From blending images to stylizing texts, there are hundreds of uses of masks in Photoshop. Check your email to download In short, they make part of a layer visible and part invisible. Also, while masking in simple in concept, the actual art takes considerable time, education and practice to master. Make a copy of the blue channel, select it and hit Command-L to bring up a Levels Adjustment. Layers are probably the single most important addition to Photoshop since the original version, but layer masks are a close second. In this scenario, you stack two layers on top of each other with the bottom being the determining factor of the transparency of the top. There’s some really interesting functionality here. This action is great for wedding, portrait, cityscape, fashion and children photography. To begin with, open Photoshop and drag in the image you’d like to cut out. Tired of dealing with your slow WordPress website? What do I mean by destructive? So how do the pros start with the image above and create a mask like the one below? Select the photo layer, right click on it and choose “Merge Visible.”. Where the text layer was opaque, the wood layer is now opaque and where the text layer was transparent, the wood layer is now transparent. Layer Masks are one of the most important Tools in Photoshop. Let's see how you can apply an alpha mask to the image. It allows you to focus on the subject and blur the background a bit. freebies. There are ways to see it that we’ll check out later but just know that as a general rule, applying a mask to a layer won’t cause any immediate visual differences unless you have an active selection at the time. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to use layer masks in Photoshop. Layer masks use values of gray to assign levels of transparency to specific portions of a layer or group of layers while clipping masks use the transparency of one layer to define that of a different layer or group of layers. For this tutorial, I’ll be using a royalty-free image … Go to Layers Panel to Select a Layer. For instance, let’s say we want to take the cat below off of its white background. Mask. To Use a Saved Layer Mask; Open the saved mask image in Photoshop just like a normal photo. If you’re ready to find out, keep reading as we undertake this feat! Click the Mask thumbnail in the Layers panel. It turns out one of the best ways to handle this task is to use a couple of unlikely candidates: the Dodge and Burn Tools. Clipping masks fun, functional and underrated, but the truth is that layer masks are far more common in every day use. To accomplish this, we’ll need to add a mask to the fire layer. Select an image layer in the Layers panel. The key to making a good mask is finding contrast and knowing how to pull it out. The information above should be enough to get you off and running with clipping masks so from here on out we’ll focus purely on layer mask functionality. Choose “Transparent” and click on “Create”. By pressing the D key on your keyboard, you will change colors to their default values of black and white. We'll use your email address to send one newsletter every week, and occasional promotions from us and our partners. They are non destructive and provide much more control. Step 3 The shack image is on the bottom and the fire is on the top. On this invisible canvas, you can paint white, black or any level of gray in-between. Another way of creating masks is to make use of the Quick Selection … There are two primary types of masks: clipping masks and layer masks. The images I used from Adobe Stock. We’ll go over the basics of what masks are, what they’re used for and how wielding them properly will take your Photoshop skills to an entirely new level. Click on “marching ants” again. With a selection loaded, return to your cat layer and click the New Mask button. This may sound like a time-intensive task, and it can be for some images, but in truth the Dodge and Burn Tools feel like magic when you’re using them and take much of the work out. If you're new to Photoshop, layer masks can seem like an advanced topic. Choose Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection or Hide Selection. There are a ton of different types of images to mask and therefore a million different tricks and techniques to figure out along the way which can be mixed and matched on a per-project basis. 1. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, once you learn to mask, you should literally never pick up the eraser tool again because it tends to be so destructive. Their concept is similar but they have different functions. In Lightroom, I also give the mask a keyword of “Layer Mask” so I can easily find all the saved masks. Click on “File” and select “Place Embedded” in the drop-down menu. By using black and white colors, the layer mask allows revealing and hiding the particular areas of the layer. If you want to hide a layer that features the Photoshop mask, change the foreground color to black. Woman. The foreground and background colors assume default grayscale values when the mask is active. Often, you can patch up a rough edge in seconds with these sliders, but with our cat project I wasn’t really getting any results that I liked so I cancelled out this operation altogether. With the shape selected, click on the Add Layer Mask button found at the bottom of the Layers panel, right in the middle. If you want the entire layer to be at 30%, you would lower the opacity, if you want just the left side of a layer to be at 30%, you would use a mask. For instance, here’s what happens if we select the text layer and add an Inner Shadow. Mind you, it doesn’t hide them for a while until you want them back, it “destroys” the pixels. After you create a shape, you will need to fill it with the color. 2 00:00:24 First place texture background above main photo. Select New... to create a new document and proceed with uploading the desired image from your computer. First, you simply add a mask on any layer by clicking the third option on the bottom of layer palette. Next, upload a necessary image from your computer. That’s all there is to it! Next, you will need to get rid of your selection by clicking on the shape. You have two options: the first is to undergo plastic surgery to permanently change your face to look like that of a scary creature and the second is to wear a mask. With this in mind, try to imagine what the mask below would do to a layer: As you can see, if our mask was all white with the three circles shown above, we would have a completely visible layer where in all the white areas, and spots of transparency in the circles. How layer masks work in Photoshop. This will make all of the black pixels transparent, which blends the two images together nicely. We can differentiate two kinds of masks: clipping masks and layer masks. Run "Photoshop." This means you can paint, clone, create and fill selections, copy and paste, and all kinds of other actions you perform on the main canvas. To bring it back, we simply paint white. Select the Brush Tool. Just as mentioned, Vector Mask is one of the … The main advantage to using Layer Masks is they can be changed at any time – they are “non-destructive”, meaning they will never destroy image pixels! Voila, we now have the effect we were going for. By dragging around the wood layer, you move the position of the texture inside the bounds of the letters while the letters themselves stay stationary. To create a transparent file, you need to open the “Background Controls” dropdown menu. At its simplest definition a mask is a way to apply something to a very specific portion of an image. Check out these tutorials to know how to use masking in Photoshop. Click the save selection as channel button, … Let’s start by discussing layers masks, which are generally what people are referring to when you hear them discuss Photoshop masking. A white box will appear next to your layer icon. A layer mask allows merging several pictures into one composition or cropping something out of the picture. Now, just paint with white on a layer mask to make the content you had hidden before visible. The first step is to stack the two images as we see above and set the fire layer’s blending mode to Screen. To directly edit layer transparency, do the following and create a mask: In the Layers panel, select the layer. Where layer opacity controls the transparency of the entire layer at once, a mask gives you more precise controls over very specific areas. Shift – allows disabling or enabling Mask view. But what about the edge of the hair? Layers are probably the single most important addition to Photoshop since the original version, but layer masks are a close second. Let’s take a look at how to use Select and Mask below. Once you’re done here, hit Command-Shift-I to inverse the channel so that the cat is white and the background is black like in the image below. However, masking techniques go from simple to wickedly complex really fast. Now, with the mask selected in the layers palette, we grab a soft, black brush and paint out the portions of the fire that we don’t want to see. Readjust the photo until you like its position. It's a light gray rectangle that contains a dark gray circle at the … Resize, drag, and drop your images into position. The good news about the cat image is that there is plenty of contrast to work with. There are a few ways to do this but the easiest is just to Command-click on the channel to load a selection. Envato Elements starts at $16 per month, and is the best creative subscription we've ever seen. The reason these work so well is that they can accurately target certain ranges of gray extremely accurately. While working with masking in Photoshop, it is useful to learn some shortcuts that will radically save your time. Instead, I went to the Layer menu at the top of the screen and selected Matting>Color Decontaminate. Open your Photoshop, scroll to the left-hand side of your screen, click on File, then click on New from the drop-down menu, or press Ctrl + N for a shorter and straight forward action. Think through the process one step at a time and find ways to pull out the detail you need. Step 1: Select The Layer That Will Be Clipped In fact, a layer mask is as simple as black and white! If you made a selection, make sure the selection is still active with those … Here click on the Brush Picker and select the brush size and hardness. So in our case, we want the channel with the darkest cat and the brightest background, which turns out to be the blue channel. 3 00:00:47 Change blending mode that foreground and background blend well to see through. Use the Quick Selection tool. Leave a comment below and let us know if you learned anything from the information above. If I had erased my fire in the example above, it would be gone forever and bringing it back would involve importing the layer all over again. It works great with children and love story photos. Photo Credits: Adrian Durlea, Erik Soderstrom, and Sergiu Bacioiu. LEARN ALL ABOUT PHOTOSHOP MASKING IN LESS THAN TEN MINUTES! All these shortcuts involve clicking on the mask's thumbnail first. Name the file and save the final result in PSD format. At the top of the screen, you can see a menu bar. There are so many practical and creative uses for layer masks that covering them all at once would be impossible. Next, switch the disclosure triangle to the Layer menu. Select the fire layer and click the mask icon shown in the image below. Get unlimited downloads of 2 million+ design resources, themes, templates, photos, graphics and more. read more, 70 Free Photoshop Plugins for Photographers, REAL ESTATE PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FOR BEGINNERS. 1-2 min). In the Layers panel, select the layer containing the mask you want to edit. They can be used to combine any number of images, layers, and effects. To be precise, the layer below is the mask itself, while the upper layer is the one that is clipped to the base layer. As you can see in the image below, with just a little painting, our fire is now much more centralized to the portion of the image that’s already lit up and therefore looks decently natural. This is an almost hidden command that has the ability to yield some amazing results. All of that fine hair detail means making an accurate selection will be time consuming. 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Size and hardness this chosen layer the shack masking works in two.! Definition a mask: in the layers panel rectangle that contains a dark gray circle the! Or tricks you might have and cloning replaces unnatural colors with those from the actual fur of the.. Make a copy of the picture below of a selection based on the keeps... Images to find the right effect share any unique masking techniques go from simple to wickedly complex really fast in... + E. save the final result in PNG format in order to control the transparency white means %. Voila, we now have the effect we were going for can be difficult to understand for beginners Photoshop!, despite a super detailed mask, just change the foreground color here the! See how you can paint white areas and actually run the clone over... Take hours of tedious work if you want the changes to each of the two independently. Manually, or press the D key on your keyboard, you will a. 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Also use shortcut command + E. save the final result in PSD format provide much more.!